Friday October 18, 2019
Home Lead Story Saturn Overta...

Saturn Overtakes Jupiter as Planet in our Solar System with Most Number of Moons

U.S. scientists announced Monday that 20 new moons have been found orbiting Saturn, bringing the total number of moons

0
//
Saturn, Jupiter, Planet
FILE - This image provided by NASA captures the transit of several moons across the face of Saturn. The giant orange moon Titan – larger than the planet Mercury – can be seen at upper right. VOA

Researchers say Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet in our solar system with the most number of moons.

U.S. scientists announced Monday that 20 new moons have been found orbiting Saturn, bringing the total number of moons around that planet to 82. That beats Jupiter’s 79 moons.

Researchers say the new moons were not previously known because they are so small in size. They say the moons are barely 5 kilometers in diameter and have only been discovered now because of advances in technology that include better telescopes and computing power.

The scientists who made the discovery, led by Scott Sheppard at the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, used the powerful Subaru telescope in Hawaii to gather data over several years, as well as new computing algorithms, to track potential moons and orbits.

Saturn, Jupiter, Planet
FILE – The planet Jupiter is shown with one of its moons, Ganymede (bottom), in this NASA handout taken April 9, 2007. VOA

Sheppard said the discovery of the moons can help scientists learn how planets in our solar system were formed.

“Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation,” Sheppard said in a release from Carnegie on Monday.

Sheppard’s team thinks that some of the newly discovered moons were once part of a larger moon that broke up.

Seventeen of the moons have a retrograde orbit, meaning they orbit in the opposite direction as Saturn and its other moons. All of the newly discovered moons take between two and three years to travel once around Saturn.

Also Read- ‘Computer Kidney’ Suggests to Drink Enough Water Daily

Researchers say Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet in our solar system with the most number of moons.

U.S. scientists announced Monday that 20 new moons have been found orbiting Saturn, bringing the total number of moons around that planet to 82. That beats Jupiter’s 79 moons.

Researchers say the new moons were not previously known because they are so small in size. They say the moons are barely 5 kilometers in diameter and have only been discovered now because of advances in technology that include better telescopes and computing power.

The scientists who made the discovery, led by Scott Sheppard at the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, used the powerful Subaru telescope in Hawaii to gather data over several years, as well as new computing algorithms, to track potential moons and orbits.

Saturn, Jupiter, Planet
Researchers say Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet in our solar system with the most number of moons. Pixabay

Sheppard said the discovery of the moons can help scientists learn how planets in our solar system were formed.

“Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation,” Sheppard said in a release from Carnegie on Monday.

Sheppard’s team thinks that some of the newly discovered moons were once part of a larger moon that broke up.

Also Read- How DealDash Became a Game Changer for Online Shopping

Seventeen of the moons have a retrograde orbit, meaning they orbit in the opposite direction as Saturn and its other moons. All of the newly discovered moons take between two and three years to travel once around Saturn. (VOA)

Next Story

Saturn Transcends Jupiter for Becoming New Moon King

Saturn retains 20 New Moons, Surpasses Jupiter

0
Saturn
A team led by Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institute of Science found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. Pixabay

Saturn now has 82 moons – three more than Jupiter’s 79 moons – and each of the 20 newly-discovered Saturn moons is about five kms in diameter.

A team led by Scott S. Sheppard from Carnegie Institute of Science found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn. Seventeen of them orbit the planet backwards, or in a retrograde direction, meaning their movement is opposite of the planet’s rotation around its axis.

The other three moons orbit in the prograde — the same direction as Saturn rotates.

Two of the prograde moons are closer to the planet and take about two years to travel once around Saturn.

The more-distant retrograde moons and one of the prograde moons each take more than three years to complete an orbit.

“Studying the orbits of these moons can reveal their origins, as well as information about the conditions surrounding Saturn at the time of its formation,” said Sheppard.

Saturn
The new moons for Saturn were discovered using the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Pixabay

The new moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The observing team included Sheppard, David Jewitt of University of California Los Angeles and Jan Kleyna of the University of Hawaii.

These moons may have once comprised a larger moon that was broken apart in the distant past.

“The fact that these newly discovered moons were able to continue orbiting Saturn after their parent moons broke apart indicates that these collisions occurred after the planet-formation process was mostly complete and the disks were no longer a factor,” Sheppard noted.

Jupiter
Jupiter has 79 Moons, now 3 less than Saturn. Pixabay

The “retrograde” moons have similar inclinations to other previously known retrograde Saturnian moons, indicating that they are also likely fragments from a once-larger parent moon that was broken apart.

“This kind of grouping of outer moons is also seen around Jupiter, indicating violent collisions occurred between moons in the Saturnian system or with outside objects such as passing asteroids or comets,” explained Sheppard.

ALSO READ: Unstable Income May Have Influence on Brain Health

Last year, Sheppard discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter and Carnegie hosted an online contest to name five of them.

“This time, the moons must be named after giants from Norse, Gallic, or Inuit mythology,” said Sheppard. (IANS)